OpenStreetMap tags and taginfo

OpenStreetMap data includes “tags”, name=value pairs which provide a free-form folksonomy approach to classifying features. To get started mapping you don’t need to know about these. With a easy to use “edit” interface, you can simply select from a range of feature types. For example if you select “post box”, then a node will be created with the “amenity=post_box” tag set on it.Selecting Post Box in the id ditor

But as you learn to contribute data, and certainly if you try to use OpenStreetMap data, you’ll most likely need to understand tags. To help you do this, there are a number of resources available.

You can search the OpenStreetMap wiki for tag documentation such as the Tag:amenity=post_box page. This documentation is created by the community, but rather than regarding this as the final word, understand that these wiki pages form part of a process to reach agreement on tags. You and everyone else in the community can help edit those pages to ensure the documentation is more exhaustive and more accurately reflecting the tags used by the mapping community.

But for a more direct view how tags are used by the mapping community, we have taginfo. This system counts up the ocurrances of tags in the OpenStreetMap database, and presents these statistics to give us a feel for which tags are most popular, and how many of these features we have mapped. For example, just now we see the amenity=post_box tag appears 153581 times in our database!

taginfo post box screenshot

taginfo also mines the wiki for information, finds icons used in JOSM, provides links to Overpass Turbo, XAPI, and JOSM launcher, and generally brings information about tags together to connect different sources and users.

This system was developed by Jochen Topf several years ago, but building on similar ideas such as TagWatch and TagStat which came before it. These days taginfo is a crucial tool for understanding tags, and it has been rehosted on OpenStreetMap Foundation servers with various changes described by Jochen on his blog


Heart-shaped map projections

A map projection is a way to represent the curved surface of the Earth on the flat surface of a map. A good globe can provide the most accurate representation of the Earth. However, a globe isn’t practical for many of the functions for which we require maps. Map projections allow us to represent some or all of the Earth’s surface, at a wide variety of scales, on a flat, easily transportable surface, such as a sheet of paper. Map projections also apply to digital map data, which can be presented on a computer screen.

Example of map projection

There are hundreds of different map projections. The process of transferring information from the Earth to a map causes every projection to distort at least one aspect of the real world – either shape, area, distance, or direction.

Each map projection has advantages and disadvantages; the appropriate projection for a map depends on the scale of the map, and on the purposes for which it will be used. For example, a projection may have unacceptable distortions if used to map the entire country, but may be an excellent choice for a large-scale (detailed) map of a county. The properties of a map projection may also influence some of the design features of the map. Some projections are good for small areas, some are good for mapping areas with a large east-west extent, and some are better for mapping areas with a large north-south extent.

  • Bonne projection

A Bonne projection is a pseudoconical equal-area map projection, sometimes called a dépôt de la guerre or a Sylvanus projection. Although named after Rigobert Bonne (1727–1795), the projection was in use prior to his birth, in 1511 by Sylvano, Honter in 1561, De l’Isle before 1700 and Coronelli in 1696. Both Sylvano and Honter’s usages were approximate, however, and it is not clear they intended to be the same projection.

The projection is:

Bonne projection

Bonne projection


Bonne projection


Bonne projection

and φ is the latitude, λ is the longitude, λ0 is the longitude of the central meridian, and φ1 is the standard parallel of the projection.

Parallels of latitude are concentric circular arcs, and the scale is true along these arcs. On the central meridian and the standard latitude shapes are not distorted.

The inverse projection is given by:

Bonne projection

Bonne projection


Bonne projection

 taking the sign of Bonne projection.

Special cases of the Bonne projection include the sinusoidal projection, when φ1 is zero, and the Werner projection, when φ1 is π/2. The Bonne projection can be seen as an intermediate projection in the unwinding of a Werner projection into a Sinusoidal projection; an alternative intermediate would be a Bottomley projection.

Examples of Bonne projection

Bonne projection

Bonne projection

  • Werner projection

The Werner projection is a pseudoconic equal-area map projection sometimes called the Stab-Werner or Stabius-Werner projection. Like other heart-shaped projections, it is also categorized as cordiform. Stab-Werner refers to two originators: Johannes Werner (1466–1528), a parish priest in Nuremberg, refined and promoted this projection that had been developed earlier by Johannes Stabius (Stab) of Vienna around 1500.

The projection is a limiting form of the Bonne projection, having its standard parallel at one of the poles (90°N/S). Distances along each parallel and along the central meridian are correct, as are all distances from the north pole.

Examples of Bonne projection

Werner projection


Werner projection


“Chemtrails” – Fight to global warming !!! Will this geo-engeneering be boon or curse to human kind ?

Fact: Climate scientists lobbying for large-scale geoengineering

According to a news of The Gurdian, the geo-engineers are finally coming out of the “chemtrail” closet, as reports are now emerging about deliberate plans in the works to dump untold tons of sulfate chemicals into the atmosphere for the purported purpose of fighting so-called “global warming.”

The U.K.’s Guardian and others are reporting that a multi-million dollar research fund, which just so happens to have been started and funded by Microsoft founder and vaccine enthusiast Bill Gates, is being used to fund the project. A large balloon hovering at 80,000 feet over Fort Sumner, New Mexico, will release the sulfates into the atmosphere within the next year.

The stated purpose for this massive release of toxic sulfate particles is that doing so will allegedly reflect sunlight back into the atmosphere, and thus cool the planet. But many environmental groups and advocates of common sense are decrying the idea as dangerous, and one that could result in permanent damage to ecosystems all across the globe.

“Impacts include the potential for further damage to the ozone layer, and disruption of rainfall, particularly in tropical and subtropical regions, potentially threatening the food supplies of billions of people,” said Pat Mooney, Executive Director of the ETC Group, a Canadian environmental protection group.

“It will do nothing to decrease levels of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere or halt ocean acidification. And solar geo-engineering is likely to increase the risk of climate-related international conflict, given that the modeling to date shows it poses greater risks to the global south.”

But the Gates-backed cohort is persistent in its efforts to geo-graffiti the world, as its scientists insist that governments are not doing enough to fight back against the supposed environment impacts of global warming. If governments refuse to implement high enough carbon taxes to eliminate greenhouse gases, in other words, then Gates and Co. believes it has no choice but to “save the planet” by polluting it with sulfate particles.



Spraying the skies with sulfate particles will destroy the planet faster than ‘global warming’ ever could. Chemtrails Sulfate particles are toxic, though, and constitute the very same type of ambient particulate matter (PM) that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) considers to be a noxious air pollutant. Deliberately spraying the skies with tiny particles composed of any material, for that matter, is hazardous both to respiratory health in humans and animals, as well as to water sources, soils, and other delicate environmental resources.

“Sulfate particles from acid rain can cause harm to the health of marine life in the rivers and lakes it contaminates, and can result in mortality,” says an online water pollution guide ( A University of Washington (UW) report also explains that sulfate particles “contribute to acid rain, cause lung irritation, and have been a main culprit in causing the haze that obscures a clear view of the Grand Canyon.”

Blocking the sun with reflective particles will also deprive humans of natural sunlight exposure, which is a primary source for naturally generating health-promoting vitamin D in the body. So once again, Bill Gates is at the helms of a project that seeks to control the climate in artificial ways using toxic chemicals, an endeavor that is sure to create all sorts of potentially irreversible problems for humanity and the planet.

France to make older Spot images available to researchers for free

The French government has agreed to open its Spot optical Earth observation data archive and distribute, free of charge to noncommercial users, Spot satellite data that is at least five years old.

The Jan. 23 announcement by the French space agency, CNES, followed a French government commitment made Jan. 17 during a meeting in Geneva of the 80 governments that comprise the Group on Earth Observations (GEO).

imagespot France to make older Spot images available to researchers for freeCNES said its decision was made in concert with Airbus Defence and Space, formerly named Astrium Services, which since 2008 has been the majority shareholder in the company that commercializes Spot data.

CNES said the move to open up access to Spot imagery, which dates from 1986, “is the first major contribution from the private sector to the construction of the Global Earth Observation System of Systems (GEOSS).”

CNES has already begun processing, at its own charge, a first tranche of 100,000 images that will be available later this year.

The French government decision follows a similar decision, made in 2013, by the European Commission to make freely available much of the data from the future Copernicus series of optical and radar Earth observation satellites. At the same time, the commission is taking steps to protect the still-fragile European private sector that makes a business of selling imagery commercially.

Source: Spacenews

WATER H@CKATHON: AppFest Registration Going on !!!!!!!!!!!


Water Hackathon App Fest Bangladesh 2014 by World Bank has started registration process ! Join in

In the Hackathon event there will be four kinds of registration process in the category of Problem Solvers, Tech-Mentors, Financiers, Problem statement Owners.

Problem Solvers
If you are an university student or tech professional doing job/business, you can team up with up to 5 multi-disciplinary members and register for the event to solve given problems. Outcome/solutions will be mobile apps for any platform.

If you are expert in a particular sector in making apps, you can register yourself as mentor of the team. Your responsibility will be helping the participating problem solving team from your area of expertise. You also can choose to work with the tea after Hackathon to develop the Mobile apps further.

It is good chance for investing or helping the problem solver teams to mentor/networking them to get access to finance (i.e. seed funding etc.) to develop their Mobile app prototype further. These are very innovative solutions. So, you can register your organisation or individually to find investment scopes.

Problem statement Owners
All those problems are coming from development sector in the thematic area of Water, Sanitation, Health and behavior changing education. We welcome GO/NGO/INGO/NFP/Donor/Private sector and any other organisations who have experience working in these thematic area and especially interest to implement/integrate these solutions to their own project to register in this category.

It is REGISTERED ONLY event. So register for the event the way you want to get involved with this COOL & Global standard event
arranged by World Bank.

You may find following links useful.

Hackathon Event

Hackathon AppFest in a Glance

Recent Significant Disasters in the Asia and Pacific Region

he Asia and the Pacific region has experienced some of the most damaging disasters in recent decades, with alarming consequences for human welfare. At the same time, the climate in the region has been changing. Temperatures have been higher, on average, and also more variable and more extreme. Countries in Asia and the Pacific are more prone to natural disasters than those in other parts of the world, with people in the region four times more likely to be affected by natural catastrophe than those in Africa and 25 times more vulnerable than Europeans or North Americans, a United Nations report released  shows. Major natural disasters around Asia and the Pacific in 2013 have caused tens of thousands of deaths and hundreds of billions of dollars in damages in recent years. This interactive infographic creeated by Asian Development Bank details the scope and scale of these devastating events:


Mapping Air Pollution

Pulling real time data from the city government of Madrid, Into the Air is a project led by Nerea Calvillo (along with a team of architectural students, anthropologists, and designers) to map out air pollutants over the Spanish city.  The project was originally developed at Visualizar’08, an annual workshop/seminar that focused that year’s efforts on urban data visualization.

The 8mb Java applet tracks in real time five different air pollutants: Sulfur dioxide (SO2), Carbon monoxide (CO), Nitrogen oxide (NO), Particulate PM10, and Ozone (03).  Each of these contaminants was chosen based on its potential to cause serious health effects.  The applet has controls for zoom, tilt, menu options (to select the types of contaminants mapped and data stations), as well as a slider for selecting the time frame.  The autoplay function plays the mapped air pollutants back in time at one hour increments.

It’s fascinating to see the peaks and lows of air pollutants and how different contaminants peak in different areas of the city across the course of a day.

Into the Air: Air Pollution Mapping.

There is a prototype in the works for creating a physical version of the air mapping model that would the facade of buildings to display air pollutant levels:

The building would become a 24 hour active indicator of environmental conditions, blurring architecture with atmosphere, informing and mediating the bodies that come into contact with it.

Future plans include a physical air mapping prototype that would use the facades of buildings to indicated air pollution levels.

Future plans include a physical air mapping prototype that would use the facades of buildings to indicated air pollution levels.

The site indicates that the code for the applet will be released shortly and invites those interested to visit the Processing sketch that was created for the project.  Budapest and Santiago de Chile have also had code developed for mapping out air pollutants.


Humanitarian OpenStreetMap

Aid workers are getting vital details about the trail of destruction left by Typhoon Haiyan, including damage to individual streets and buildings, from online maps developed with contributions from Red Cross staff and volunteers across the world.

A British Red Cross team is using the latest satellite photos and reports from a range of sources to help update maps that could save lives in the aftermath of the disaster.

The work, in partnership with the American Red Cross, is part of the Humanitarian OpenStreetMap Team project – an interactive map that can be viewed and edited by anyone with an internet connection.

The British Red Cross mapping team has 17 members and has been active since 2010, but in the wake of the disaster is focusing its efforts on a single task for the first time.

How the mapping process works

Using satellite images taken after the typhoon, the team is updating maps of the worst affected areas with information about damage to buildings. By looking at recent pictures to find out whether structures are partly or totally destroyed, they can give aid workers information about blocked roads or the scale of destruction in a particular neighbourhood.

Other details mapped include the number of people reported missing in different areas and the location of Red Cross aid workers. Sources include figures from the Red Cross and other organisations like the UN. The maps are ‘layered’ so users can choose to see the information that’s relevant to them.

Updates are made every hour of every day, so the maps are constantly evolving source of data. In a fast-changing situation like the aftermath of a typhoon, up-to-date information can make a huge difference to the work of those on the ground.

Andrew Braye, who leads the British Red Cross’ involvement in the project, said the organisation is using this kind of mapping more and more. It’s made possible by new technology and the growth of online collaboration tools such as OpenStreetMap and Google Docs. These let individuals and organisations work together to create new online tools that can be used by everyone.

But it takes smart planning to deliver good results. “The trick is doing what’s useful and not duplicating what other people are doing,” Andrew said.IFRC typhoon damage

Tacloban building damage map blogpic“It’s amazing to help”

The team has been using its mapping expertise to support the British Red Cross for three years – helping everyone from aid workers planning trips abroad to volunteers dealing with emergencies in the UK.

As well as Red Cross staff, its members include digital volunteers recruited through adverts on the internet and events linked to digital mapping. The team usually works on a wide range of projects – but for the first time has come together to focus on a single task.

Volunteer Johnny Henshall has recently completed a Masters in geographical information systems. He said: “It’s a chance for me to use the skills I’ve just got. This is what I want to be doing. It’s amazing to be able to help – there aren’t many opportunities to do this for a humanitarian organisation.”

Andrew says the team’s “revolving door” of volunteers brings in people with highly specialised skills who would normally cost a huge amount to employ. But many are willing to give their time for a few weeks or months between paid contracts.

Could you join the team?

If you have some spare time and know how to use PostgreSQL, PostGIS, GeoServer and OpenLayers, the team would like to hear from you. Email them for more information.

Green Technology

This bike doesn’t just help the environment by cutting down on automobile pollution, it also helps reduce pollution from others as well. While the bike is in motion, the polluted air passes through a filter which removes harmful particulates. The frame of the bike will collect energy from the sun and convert it into fresh oxygen to be released back into the environment.

Source:  The Science World

Visualization of Earth’s Next 100 Years

Scientists use climate models to predict how Earth’s climate will change. Climate models are computer programs with mathematical equations. They are programmed to simulate past climate as accurately as possible. This gives scientists some confidence in a climate model’s ability to predict the future.

Climate models predict that Earth’s average temperature will keep rising over the next 100 years or so. There may be a year or years where Earth’s average temperature is steady or even falls. But the overall trend is expected to be up.

Earth’s average temperature is expected to rise even if the amount of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere decreases. But the rise would be less than if greenhouse gas amounts remain the same or increase.

Take a look at this amazing visualization that explains how we’ve treated the Earth over the past 100 years and what the next 100 might hold.